Or… Pay it forward.
There is a young man who sits outside my local grocery store almost every single day, no matter the weather… and he sits there all alone. He is not more than 16 or maybe 17 and he is only one of many refugees that have been coming to my country lately due to the horrible situation that is going on in our world. I have walked by him many times. First I didn’t say much. Then it became a quick hello without any eye contact. And so it has been, until lately I started to look at him. I started to see him.
Now, I am a very fortunate and privileged person. I am a middle aged white man, living in a beautiful location in a coastal town that people come to visit every summer. I have a nice home, a steady income and I can do many of the things I desire. I am not rich, but I have a warm bed, a kitchen with all the necessities and I can even make my laundry when ever I wish, without leaving the apartment. Some might say that this is just a normal thing to have and so, many of us just take it for granted.
But the world outside the comfort of our homes is not always that way. Just open your eyes and you will see that.
Yesterday a friend of mine posted a video on Facebook that did something to me. There he was with another friend in a well known city, handing out food to random homeless people. It was such a simple thing, yet it meant so much those involved.
Now, there are two things that come to my mind. One is a speech made by actress Sandra Bullock, when she asked us to make an effort in the things we do. And I want to elaborate and say, if you want to see a change, BE that change! But you will have to step up and make an effort. The second thing is that when you are privileged and life has been treating you well, why not pay it forward? Has someone done something nice for you or did you finally get whatever it was you have dreamed of for so long? Why not give back to someone who needs it? It is not hard to do and trust me you will feel good about it.
So, today when I passed this young man again. My friends random act of kindness yesterday came to my mind. In that moment I decided to start paying it forward as well. So I went inside the store, and while picking up things for my breakfast, I bought a little breakfast for him too. On my way out I looked at him straight in the eyes and asked him if he was hungry. The respond he gave me back didn’t need any words. So I handed him what I had bought and wished him a good day.
I know that nobody can do everything for everyone. But if we all do just a little something, we can make this world a much better place.
A random act of kindness doesn’t cost much.